Zai jian, China Week

Written by: Zaina Salem

On Oct. 12, during China Week at The University of Akron, a traditional Chinese dumpling party was held at The Chapel, where members of the Confucius Institute, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, and the Akron Chinese Christian Church, gathered together to celebrate Chinese food and culture.

The dumpling party was an event where people came together to learn different ways of making the food. The traditional food has been around for thousands of years and is usually made of ground beef or vegetables wrapped in tiny pieces of dough. They are sealed by pinching the edges together, and then are either steamed or boiled.

Walking into the party, the popular song “Gangnam Style” was playing and people were circled around tables, trying to catch a glimpse of how to create dumplings. A series of Chinese symbols were hung up on the wall, and smiling faces filled the room.

Guests lined up to fill their plates with a variety of typical Chinese food: white rice, chicken, green beans, egg-rolls and, of course, dumplings. A series of performers entertained the crowd while they ate. First the Chinese Christian Church Choir performed, followed by martial arts and instrumental acts.

One of these performers was Tibor Gal, a senior at The University Akron and a member of UA’s Chinese program. He performed a Chinese song called “Hugging Back to Back” about a young couple in love. For those at the party who didn’t understand Chinese, the captioned music video was shown for the audience to follow along with.

“I think this event is important, because it shows that countries aren’t really different from each other,” Gal said. “It brings people together.”

People with many different experiences were at the dumpling party. Gwyn Andrews, a junior at Highland High School, attended the event with her family. She is in her fourth year of learning Chinese. Andrews, her teacher and a few of her classmates, met at the dumpling party. This was their third time attending.

“It’s not a difficult language to learn,” Andrews said. “But since it’s a language of tones, it can be challenging.”

Another guest, Melinda Yoho, is a discussion leader for international dinners at the Chapel. Every Friday during the fall semester, the Chapel hosts a free dinner for internationals students. After dinners, they have discussions or special activities.

“It’s fun seeing my friends and experiencing the Chinese culture,” Yoho said.

The Chinese dumpling party gave insight to many different aspects of Chinese culture. From traditional food to modern music, the event wrapped up China Week in a memorable way.